Ante Zizic was drafted No. 23 overall by the Celtics in the 2016 NBA draft. However, with few open roster spots and eight picks in that draft, he was asked to play overseas.
Stashed away in Europe, Zizic started this last season playing for the Croatian squad KK Cibona before making the move to Darussafaka Dogus Istanbul in Turkey, a team led by former Cavaliers coach, David Blatt.
In a recent Q&A with the Boston Globe, Blatt emphasized what a great pick Zizic was for the Celtics.
“The Celtics made a tremendous 23rd pick in the draft,” Blatt said. “This guy, at that number is in my mind just a great pick, a great pick. And I do know a little bit about the NBA, so I can tell you that with confidence.”
During his time in Europe this past year, the 6-foot-11, 254 pound center is averaging 12.6 points and 6.35 rebounds, while shooting 66.9 percent from the field. These stats have been complimented by scattered breakout performances, such as a game against MZT Skopje, where the young center dropped 37 points, 20 rebounds, and three blocks.
As a result of Zizic’s play, the new consensus among NBA scouts falls in line with Blatt’s praise.
One NBA general manager told the Sporting News’ Sean Deveney Zizic would “almost certainly be a lottery pick in this draft, maybe top 10, even though this is a deeper draft than last year. He would be better than a draft pick, really, because you can see what you’re getting.”
Following an Eastern Conference finals series where the Celtics were dominated in the paint offensively and defensively by the Cavaliers, losing the series rebounding battle 210-185, a budding center talent in Zizic will be welcomed with open arms.
While scouts and coaches alike agree he will more than likely begin his tenure with the Celtics as a role player, his potential is one of the pieces the Celtics hope will eventually push them into legitimate finals contention.
One thing that is for certain, Zizic is ready to take the next step in his career.
“I think this year I have improved my game, I improved my body and gained experience,” Zizic said in a telephone interview with the Boston Globe. “So I think right now, I am ready for the NBA.”
Full article @ What is 2016 Celtics draft pick Ante Zizic up to?
Source: GreenStreet Blog